- FEMA Qualification System Guide
- FQS Position Job Titles by Cadre
- FQS Flow Charts
- Evaluator's Guide
- Qualification Review Board Guide
- PTB Issuance Form
- FQS Position Task Books
- FQS Qualification Sheets
- FQS Transmittal Log
- FEMA Incident Qualifications and Certification System (IQCS)
The primary purpose of the FEMA Qualifications System (FQS) is to provide the best possible customer service to survivors and communities working to respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters. FQS improves individual job performance by establishing professional standards for each disaster position. Every FEMA employee will receive FQS training, performance evaluations, and disaster experience for individual position qualification, to ensure FEMA employees have the critical skills and competencies required to perform their duties. FQS helps build FEMA's disaster response and recovery capability by providing personnel with the training and experience needed to assume positions of progressively greater responsibility.
Initial Qualification Status Determination
Each FEMA employee in an incident management position as of June 2011 was evaluated by a panel of subject matter and program experts from the existing FEMA workforce. These experts developed baseline qualifications for each program position and evaluated each cadre member against those standards for training, experience, and performance. The process for determining current FEMA employee qualifications was in compliance with the National Incident Management System and was strictly controlled and monitored to ensure integrity and fairness.
Advancement Process from Trainee to Qualified
FQS has only two rating levels - Trainee and Qualified. Trainees are personnel who are working through the required steps to fully qualify for their position. Fully qualified personnel have met the standards for qualification as determined through a formal process based on their experience, training, and performance.
Here are the steps to move from Trainee to Qualified
- An employee meets the minimum experience required for a "Trainee in a single incident management position.
- They are provided with a Position Task Book that details the experience, training, and performance required for the position.
- They complete all required training for the position.
- The employee's work performance during disaster response and recovery activities is assessed by a Certified Evaluator.
- The employee's cadre manager submits the completed qualifications package for review to the Regional or Headquarters Qualification Review Board.
- A Regional or Headquarters Qualifications Review Board evaluates the completed package and makes a recommendation to identify the employee as either qualified or not qualified.
- The Regional or Headquarters Certifying Official concurs or non-concurs with the recommendation of the Qualification Review Board.
- The employee's cadre manager informs the employee of the results from the qualification review.
Importance of the Position Task Book
The FEMA Position Task Book contains all the critical behaviors, activities, and tasks required to become qualified in a FEMA incident management or incident support position. The task book also serves as the official record of the employee's evaluation and training. Only employees in the Certified Evaluator role will record a Trainee's successful completion of all required training and task performance in the task book. The task books also serve as a checklist for recertification and as a job aid to assist employees in the performance of their duties.
Impact of Force Structure
The FEMA Force Structure model sets target disaster staffing levels by position based on historic data. Implementation of the Force Structure model ensures that FEMA has enough trained and experienced incident management and incident support personnel to accomplish the goals of the Agency Mission. FQS is designed to support the Force Structure by ensuring that Regional and Headquarters offices train and qualify the adequate number and type of disaster position needed to manage numerous disasters of varying intensity, all at once. It is the employee levels dictated by the Force Structure that will identify how many trainees may work towards qualification in any single position.
Once an employee is certified as a trainee or a fully qualified employee in a position, any reconsideration of that qualification requires the submission of new information for review by the Qualification Review Board. The qualification packet will be resubmitted with the new information and be evaluated by the same panel of subject matter experts that performed the initial evaluation. Employees contact their cadre managers in order to provide new information for qualification reconsideration.
Current FEMA employees seeking more information about the FEMA Qualification System can email FEMA-FQS-Program@fema.dhs.gov or call toll free at 855- FQS-FEMA (855-377-3362) Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.